YAMATO – THE DRUMMERS OF JAPAN
I’ve been reviewing a lot of different things, even more than usual lately. I’ve become an avid goer to the WA Ballet, I’ve reviewed Black Metal, Musicals, Hip Hop, Spoken Word shows – many things I don’t usually go to but have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This past Saturday though at the Regal Theatre in Subiaco, I saw something completely different to anything I have ever seen before. A two-hour show from the famous Yamato – The Drummers Of Japan.
Following their hugely successful tour in 2017, the Yamato Drummers hit back on Aussie shores with their new show “Passion”. The drummers challenge and push themselves to their absolute limits. What is it that they do? It’s called Taiko. It’s an ancient Japanese form of percussion using large drums. The drums range in size from roughly a snare drum (“shime”), to drums as large as a vehicle (the “o-daiko”). The most common drum size in taiko is the “chu-daiko” which is the size of a wine barrel. During the 1900’s, Taiko drumming became a musical art form that involved a music ensemble and tightly choreographed movements. This is taiko as people know it today. I had to check this out.
This show was visually very impressive. From the moment the curtain was raised you were taken to another place, it was a really nice set up that set the mood perfectly. The performers’ energy was the next thing that came to mind as soon as they began Act 1. These performers are some incredibly fit people, you would have to be to do what they do. They train hard – they are dedicated to their craft and are very disciplined. They were non-stop for nearly two hours except for a 15 minute intermission.
Their humor that they peppered through the show was classic humor that defied any language barrier. With the use of facial expressions and gestures of having a drum battle with one another, trying to one up one another by bringing out even bigger drums, it was really clever and well thought out.
When the performance slow and still, it was delicate. When the performance was balls to the wall, it was intense. They took you on a journey and told their story ‘Passion’ through their art. It was a treat!
This team are the cream of the crop at Taiko and it was an absolute pleasure to see them do what they do best. Many thanks to Yamato’s Drummers of Japan for sharing the experience with us Aussies!